Conflict on Mount Lebanon: Collective Memory and the War of the Mountain
Abi- Mershid, Osama
The Druze and Maronites, the founding communities of modern Lebanon, have clashed on more than one occasion over the past two centuries earning them the reputation of being primordial enemies. This study is an attempt to gauge the impact that collective memory had on determining the course and the nature of the conflict between these communities in Mount Lebanon in what came to be called the War of the Mountains in 1982. This dissertation will attempt to reconstruct, perhaps for the first time, the events of the 1982 war through the framework of collective remembrance. In doing so, the thesis hopes to achieve better understanding of the conflict as well as the consequences it had on the two communities and beyond, most importantly the post-war reconciliation process; which maybe applicable to other communal conflicts in the region.This dissertation extensively utilizes oral history, in some of its parts, to explore how collective memory has shaped the conflict between the two communities, by interviewing a number of informants from both (inside and outside) the Druze and Maronite communities who have been involved or were witnesses to the conflict. These informants clearly reveal how their respective communities recall previous encounters; hence part of the study will deal with the question of oral history usages in historical research and the challenges and advantages that this tool will bring to Lebanese history and beyond. I will look into the history of both communities; how they have evolved and interacted with each other in Mount Lebanon as early as the 18th century onwards with a view to discover a recurrent pattern in their history. A good understanding of each community’s perception of themselves and each other would shed more light on the background of the conflict in 1982. Therefore it would also be relevant to explore earlier conflicts between these communities primarily the 1840-45, 1860 and the 1958 conflicts which still echo very clearly in their collective memories, rhetoric and literary productions.The writing of a narrative of the war of the Mountains and the events which lead up to them has never been attempted thus far at least within the scholarly circles. Telling the story, or perhaps stories, of the many men and women who partook in these events or simply suffered as a consequence is a valuable contribution to the field of Lebanese historical scholarship; especially when this can help expose the intrinsic motives which lead to this conflict, as well as assist in preventing similar future conflicts from arising.
Embargo Lift Date
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Davis, Kevin Alexander (Georgetown University, 2014)In Aden, the former capital of the People's Democratic Republic of South Yemen, a popular nationalist movement has emerged demanding a rescinding of the unification agreement that joined north and south Yemen in 1990. This ...